By John Broadbent
Thanks for tuning in for another episode of Make Your Mark Monday. Today, I’d like to talk about what makes local businesses really succeed online and that’s reviews. Probably the best thing that you can focus on as a local business is getting more or better reviews.
Now you may have hired an agency and they may be doing a bunch of things that aren’t related specifically, to getting you more better reviews but that’s okay, because usually getting reviews is something that is best done onsite, there at your business.
There are a couple of things that you should remember not to do, and we’re going to walk-through couple of these here, as well as some things that should do. A couple of the things are don’t write the reviews yourself, one of the things that especially Google, can determine is your IP address and writing the reviews yourself, we’ve noticed has actually decreased rankings online, when the reviews are coming from the same IP address.
Another thing is don’t hire a review-boosting company. We’ve also seen that companies that have gone out my review-boosting companies, they get a bunch of reviews in a very, very short amount of time that are all great, and every single person that reviews their company, if you go and look at everything else that that person has reviewed, it’s all five stars.
There’s nothing that looks natural or organic about the way that they’ve reviewed any business, and that’s something that search engines can also be able to tell. The other thing is don’t let your customers review your business from your IP address. Don’t let those all come from the same IP address. A lot of these don’t are tied up in the same thing, and that is being able to tell whether or not something’s happening there onsite.
A few things on the do list is do solicit good reviews. If you’re soliciting good reviews on a regular basis what will happen is, you’ll have just kind of this natural steady stream of reviews, and may get some four stars or some three stars, and that’s okay to have some that are in there, and every now and again you might have a one star or a two star.
But if you’re soliciting good reviews, you’re looking for the people that you’re pretty sure are having a good experience. Your customers that are having a good experience and you’re asking them to review you somehow. There are a couple of little tricks associated with soliciting good reviews.
I’ve seen some companies do, “Please tell us about your experience on Google or on Yelp,” or wherever it is, but they hand out a review card with maybe a short code link in it, and that can be extremely helpful. Another do is get good reviews on multiple sites. As much as Google is kind of leaning away from reviews on other sites, because they don’t trust them as much or whatever the purpose is, or they’ve kind of buried those a little bit in their local listings.
I think a lot of that is really just to focus on the Google reviews, but from what we can tell those reviews on other sites such as Yelp or Trip Advisor are still coming into play in terms of your organic ranking, especially on Google. The other thing is respond to reviews, respond to all reviews. Let people know that you are interested in what is being said online.
Now couple things to keep in mind don’t get into the yes and no type of battle here between you and people that have reviewed you, like here’s the real story or whatever. Remember that you’re responding to them personally, but in a public forum. So address their concern, don’t speak to just the rest of the world, just speak to that person.
When it’s a great review say “Hey, we appreciate you, thanks. We look forward to having you come back,” something to that effect. The other one might be something to the effect of, “Hey, we are so sorry you had a bad experience with us. Your experience at our business is really important to us, and we want to make sure that you have a great experience. Please come in sometime and let’s see what we can do to make it right.”
You know something to that effect where you responding to them individually, but you’re saying it for everyone to hear can do wonders, especially if you do it with tact and you don’t get caught up in the heat of the argument I guess.
So here are a couple of things that you should really, really focus on. Be wary of course, of review boosting companies. Do your research to find out what it is that are their tactics to help you get ranked. On Wednesday we’ll dive in a little bit deeper on some tactics that you can use to solicit good reviews, because sometimes that can feel little bit tacky, but you can do it in a way that really doesn’t feel like you’re just going out there trying to get artificial reviews.
You can do in way that’s like, “Hey, this is our company’s policy or our company’s stand on how we get feedback as a company. So please tell us how we’re doing, and do it in a public forum. We’re okay with that.” But again, we’re only going to ask people who we think are having a good experience.
A couple other things that weren’t on this list that we’ll talk about on Wednesday as well, is how you can take your business and create a great user experience, if you will, through the process of the customers just experience with your business, and really help solidify the fact that these good reviews are an accurate representation of what your businesses is doing online.